Electronics Recycling

Pennsylvania Requires Electronic Devices Be Separated from Trash

The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania's Covered Device Recycling Act of 2010 prohibits electronic devices from being taken to landfills beginning in January 2013. As a result, West Goshen Township's trash hauler, Republic Services, will no longer collect banned material beginning January 1st.

"Municipal waste trucks will no longer be collecting these devices for disposal at landfills," explains Tim O'Donnell, president of the Pennsylvania Waste Industries Association. "You won't be able to put old computers or TV sets or computer peripherals at the curb to be taken to the landfill or the incinerator, nor will they be permitted to be mixed in with regular household recycling.

According to the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection, "Electronic equipment contains metals that, if not properly managed or contained, can become hazardous wastes." Dangerous metals in electronic components include cadmium, lead, and mercury. The typical cathode ray tube computer monitor contains four to seven pounds of lead. Televisions may contain even more lead.

Manufacturers of electronic devices sold in Pennsylvania must make collection programs available to Pennsylvania residents. Retailers may also offer collection programs, and are required by law to provide customers with information on how and where to recycle these devices. The law mandates that collection programs must be free of charge to Pennsylvania residents.

In addition, Chester County will continue to accept electronic components at select Household Hazardous Waste dropoffs. Check the West Goshen Township website's Hazardous Waste page in 2013 for County dropoff dates and locations. Additional information about Pennsylvania's Covered Device Recycling Act of 2010 is available at the state's Department of Environmental Protection website.